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Owl Moon

Module 2 – Caldecott Medal Winners/Picture Books/SLIS 5420


Yolen, Jane. (1987). Owl Moon. (J. Schoenherr, Illus.) New York: Philomel Books.


Beautifully written, with illustrations that illuminate the text, Owl Moon is about a father and daughter who go owling late one winter night in the woods surrounding their farm.   The book celebrates the wonder of nature and the contentment found in silence when experiencing it, as well as the bond between children and parents that is perhaps best expressed by sharing such experiences of wonder.


 “…In fact, in Cullinan and Galda’s Literature and the  Child (5th edition) the book gives Owl Moon a close look specifically in a section called ‘Contemporary Realistic Fiction’  Says the title, ‘The story is deceptively simple, for poetic prose evokes powerful images of the cold, dark winter night, the silence, the beauty of the woods white with snow, and the adventure that child and father undertake.’  And in terms of the Caldecott winning illustrations Cullinan and Galda go on to say, ‘His [Schoenherr’s] pictures correspond to what the text is saying, but they also transcend it.  His use of light and white space is extraordinary, making the dark spruce woods and winter night seem lit from within.  In most of the pictures the father and child are small, insignificant intruders in the forest of towering trees and pristine snow…

Publishers Weekly said of the book, “In harmony with the art, the melodious text brings to life an unusual countryside adventure.”

Bird, Elizabeth. (2009, April 27). Review of Owl Moon. School Library Journal.  Retrieved from


The magic of the text and illustrations makes this book ideal for a story time activity. Another idea would be to tie a nature activity in (such as a nature walk after the story time) or use the time to also talk about owls and their habits, nocturnal animals, etc.  A well thought out “nocturnal creatures” panorama and activity could be fun.

Winner of the Caldecott Medal, 1988.


About mary's summer bookshelf

I'm studying to be a librarian at the University of North Texas and loving it. This blog is a class project and the first one I've ever written. The world of children's literature is diverse and rich. This class is opening up many worlds for me to traverse - I am a total YA fan now.

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